8.—A Season and Time
As I have said, there is nothing in the seventh of Daniel from which can be ascertained the length of time during which Assyria, Persia, and Egypt, the southern head of the Leopard, shall continue distinct nationalities after the taking away of their dominions by the holy ones. The sentence concerning them is, that “a prolonging in life shall be given them for a season and time”. Now we learn from the Scriptures that there is a time when national distinctions among mankind shall have an end; a season and time cannot therefore be interminable. The reign of the holy ones is to be for an age, even for the age of ages. This age is of coequal duration with the season and time, and conterminous with it in the age of ages. In the season-and-time age, then, Assyria, Persia, and Egypt are dominionless, while the holy ones are kings “under the whole heaven” of the kingdom of men. But when the season and time end at the time of the opening of the period beyond the age of ages, what then? Paul informs us, that at the end the Son of Man shall deliver up the kingdom to the Father, or Ancient of Days, having by that time put down all rule, and all authority, and power: for he must reign till he has put all enemies under his feet. And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject to the Ancient of Days who puts all things under him, that God may be the all things in all (1 Cor. 15:24). It is evident, then, from this, that the kingdom and dominion are not to continue unchanged interminably; but that when the time comes to abolish death from the earth, that abolition will necessitate a change in the constitution of the world. The reign of the Son of Man and his holy companions over nations of mortal men is therefore limited by that necessity. If, then, we can find a revelation of how long they are to reign, we shall have ascertained the duration of the season and time. This matter was revealed to John in Patmos. He tells us that he saw one descend from heaven and bind the Dragon, so that the power could not injuriously affect the nations for 1,000 years; and that coëvally with that period he saw persons occupying thrones who reigned with Christ as the priests of God (Rev. 20:1–6).
A season and time, then, is 1,000 years, or two times of 360 years each; and a set time of 280 years; or nine months and ten days of years, 280 days being a set time, or period of gestation (Gen. 21:2). For this season and time of 1,000 years the holy ones possess the world as theirs. At the end of that time, sin being eradicated, death is abolished, and their priesthood necessarily ceases. They therefore reign no more as priests; but the Deity is all things in all the dwellers upon the earth.